Statewide Smoking Ban is Long Overdue (2/1/11) - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Statewide Smoking Ban is Long Overdue (2/1/11)

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Regular viewers of Point of View know I've disagreed with many of the positions taken by Kentucky State Senator David Williams over the years. But his proposal for a statewide smoking ban in all indoor workplaces – including restaurants and bars -- has my enthusiastic support.

As I've said before, such a law no longer even qualifies as an attempt at changing social behavior. For the most part, the behavior has already changed to the point where an overwhelming majority of people refuse to tolerate the annoyance and health risks posed by second hand smoke. This merely recognizes that fact.

Of course, opponents will claim an anti-smoking law violates property rights. But the issue here isn't property rights – it's workplace safety. And I'm sorry to be so blunt, but those who stubbornly insist that the health hazards created by second hand smoke are overstated and unproven are simply wrong.

And as for those predictions of economic disaster for the state's restaurants and bars if smoking is outlawed -- well, it didn't happen in Louisville. Or in Lexington. Or in any of the 25 other communities in the Commonwealth that have adopted such a ban.

The best way for Kentucky to shed its image as one of the nation's unhealthiest states would be to cultivate a new one by wisely doing something about it. This law would be a good start.

Call, and tell us what you think.

I'm Bill Lamb, and that's my…Point of View.

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